I had a half day in Gangtok so I got up early and went out to see the Enchey Monastery. I wasn’t up for walking so early in the morning so I took a cab from the hotel and got there in less than ten minutes.
Enchey monastery was established in 1909 above Gangtok and holds a lot of religious significance because it is the supposed home of Khangchendzonga and Yabdean – the protecting deities of the place. The way to the monastery was lined with prayer wheels and colourful prayer flags fluttered in the cool morning breeze – a very calming sight, believe me.
I made the mistake of turning the prayer wheels with my left hand, and was promptly told by a passing lama that it was not right. A prayer wheel must always be turned with your right hand. Anyway, the main monastery was not open, so I had to come back, but I have heard it is quite elegant inside.
On the way back, I found a flower exhibition and went in. There were roses of many varieties and colours but what was breathtaking was the number of orchids. Sikkim is known for its orchids and rhododendrons and they largely grow in the wild. But this exhibition had orchids grown with care and the sheer riot of colours was absolutely magical!
After the exhibition, I took a cab down to Deorali to Porky’s. As the name suggests, it is best known for its pork dishes, although there are other items on the menu as well. I chose a pork steak, and my, it was heaven on a plate! And in a huge portion too! Really, if you eat pork, do go to Porky’s the next time you are in Gangtok. You will love it here!
To get back to Gangtok from Deorali I had two choices – a regular cab or the ropeway. It’s a short cable car ride from Deorali to Gangtok and there aren’t even seats in the cars. But it gives you a fabulous bird’s eye view of the city and then some. Of course I took the ropeway and I am glad I did. The view was completely worth it!
My cab was waiting in the hotel when I got back. I was leaving for Pelling that afternoon. It was a four hour journey but could take longer, the driver said. I was happy I came to Gangtok – I didn’t see the more common things like Tsomgo Lake or Rumtek Monastery, but that’s what revisits are for, aren’t they?